Neal "Hitler" Milano Ousted from Condo Board for Harassing Tenants

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Neal Milano. Source: YouTube

A Queens condominium board member, Neal Milano, has been forced to resign following an investigation into allegations he harassed and intimidated tenants including with displays of Nazi and Confederate imagery, swastikas, and hate symbols in the lobby.

The NYC Commission on Human Rights launched the investigation on behalf of the City in August 2017 after it learned of possible violations of the NYC Human Rights Law in the building from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, tenants, and condo owners.

One tenant alleged that Mr. Milano stopped her as she was walking to her apartment with her boyfriend, who is of Puerto-Rican descent, demanding to see his passport and exclaiming that he “could be anyone illegal.”

Another unit owner said that Mr. Milano left her a voicemail claiming to be Adolf Hitler and stating that “the grandmaster of the KKK is coming to the lobby.” The same unit owner said that Mr. Milano also responded to her attempt to rent her unit to a Latina woman by declaring, “She’s Spanish. They are low lives and don’t pay the rent.”

In addition, the Commission found violations of the Nwe York City human rights law in the condominium’s “House Rules,” including a provision requiring unit owners to provide to the Board the U.S. Passport or Residency Card of any tenant renting or residing in the unit.

The settlement requires the resignation of board member Milano and two others, removal of all offensive posters, symbols, and materials from the lobby, and changes to the Condominium’s “House Rules” to comply with the NYC Human Rights Law. One provision, to be removed is a provision requiring tenants to prove their immigration status and amending its “no pets” policy to include language about accommodating tenants with disabilities.

The settlement also requires the new Board of Managers to create and distribute new written policies detailing its housing obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law to all unit owners and tenants, post “Fair Housing” and “Notice of Rights” posters prominently in the lobby, and train newly elected board members on the Law.

The settlement also allows the Commission to be present at Board of Manager’s annual meetings and elections to ensure compliance with the settlement and the NYC Human Rights Law and requires the new board to notify the Commission of annual meetings for the next two years.

The settlement is the result a Commission-initiated investigation and only the Commission’s claims were settled. Aggrieved tenants and condo owners may still file their own complaints at the Commission.

“We hope this settlement sends a strong message to housing providers citywide that New York City does not tolerate discrimination or harassment and that we will not hesitate to take immediate action when we learn of violations,” said Sapna V. Raj, assistant commissioner for the Law Enforcement Bureau at the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

“Housing providers, including condo boards, supers, landlords, and brokers, have a legal obligation to follow the New York City human rights law, which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on national origin, immigration status, race, or any other protected category. We encourage anyone who is experiencing discrimination or harassment to report it to the Commission by calling 718-722-3131.”

“We are encouraged by the actions taken tonight by the New York City commission on human rights with whom we have been working closely on this investigation,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “Our investigation into potential state civil rights violations and financial misconduct at the condominium continues.”

“At a time when immigrants are being threatened and harassed by Washington, we won’t stand for it happening here at home,” said Bitta Mostofi, acting commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

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